• Bath Natural History Society
  • Bath Natural History Society
  • Bath Natural History Society
  • Bath Natural History Society



Email: Bath NATS



Bath Natural History Society

Field Trips

As described in our field trip arrangements document, there are usually two or more field trips to various local sites every month. Sometimes it is necessary to cancel a field meeting at short notice. Please check status of imminent field trips at our News Site before setting out.

If you would like to see and read about some of our past trips check the archive


Sunday 19th March: GULLY WOOD, BATHFORD

Leaders: MARION RAYNER & BEN ROSE (Bosky Trees, Manager of the wood).

Meet: 10.30 am. Please see description below with further instructions about advance booking.  Limited lay-by parking on A363 Sally in the Woods Road or 200m further up the hill towards Bradford on Avon there is a forestry gate on the left which will be open for you to turn in and enter a steep track into the wood. GR ST 794650 Landranger 172/Explorer 155.

Finish: Approx. 12.30

Focus: Woodland wildlife including birds and bryophytes.

Description: This wood is privately owned but is continuous with woodland of Browne’s Folly. From the lay-by there is a short but steep and slippery ascent to a level forest track through dense mature woodland of Ash, Oak, Yew, and Large Leaved Lime. The site has very steep slopes and huge rocks creating a special atmosphere. Although we will be keeping mainly to the forestry track the ground is very uneven elsewhere.

Please note: Due to the limited parking and difficulties of access, numbers attending will be limited to 15. If you wish to attend please contact Marion Rayner prior to the excursion to book a place! Walking boots essential.


Leader: MARGARIDA DOLAN with Bath Nats Specialists

Meet: 14.00 at entrance to Beechen Cliff Playing Field, off Greenway Lane, Bath. GR ST 748635 Landranger 172/Explorer 155.  No. 3 bus.

Finish: 16.00.

Focus: Appreciating natural variety around Beechen Cliff.

Description: A return visit in a different season, following up on the meeting on 2nd October 2016. The basic principle of Natural Neighbourhood Watch meetings is to identify enthusiastic local residents in different communities in and around Bath who, with the help of Bath Nats, would like to lead, organise and publicise short, easy-going walks for members of the public in their neighbourhood. The intention of the walks is to introduce other residents to the often unnoticed diversity and beauty of wildlife to be found just a short walking distance from their doorstep. They will also help to build up better knowledge and records of the diverse habitats and wildlife in and around the City.

Friday 23rd, Saturday 24th June 2017: BATH FESTIVAL OF NATURE BIOBLITZ, Bushy Norwood


Details: BioBlitz will be coming to Bath for the first ever time, as visitors are invited to discover and record as many different species of wildlife as possible in 36-hours. Naturalists are invited to lead 45 min school sessions; 30-40 min public-facing activities (pond-dipping, bird walks, tree walks, etc); and/or lead teams of interested amateur naturalists on surveys of the site (1-2 hours). Team names might include: Team Bird, Team Butterfly, Team Bugs and Beetles, etc. Offers of assistance from members are welcome. Contact Maddy Bartlett for details at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it and inform Alan Rayner ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it )

Sunday 25th June 2017: BATH FESTIVAL OF NATURE FAMILY SUNDAY, Parade Gardens


Meet: From 11 am, Parade Gardens

End: 18.00

Focus: Natural history within and around Bath

Description: The Festival of Nature will be returning to Bath celebrate wildlife in the heart of the city. Local and national environmental organizations, including Bath Nats will showcase the natural world with interactive exhibitions and inspirational activities. Visitors are encouraged to explore the surprises the natural world has to offer and to discover the incredible wildlife on their doorstep. Offers of assistance from members welcome.


Co-ordinator: HUGO BROOKE (Butterfly Conservation)

Meet: From 11.30am in public car park. GR ST 801589 Landranger 173/Explorer 156

Finish: Approx. 16.00

Focus: Butterflies and moths, and other fauna and flora.

Description: A great FREE family day out. Guided walks, moth trap displays, bat roost viewing by infra-red camera, arts and crafts, face-painting and story-telling, butterfly-friendly plants for sale etc. Refreshments available at Iford Manor tea rooms, alternatively, bring a picnic.


Leader: MAURICE TENNENHAUS with Bath Nats Specialists

Meet: 14.00 at meadow entrance. GR ST 784603 Landranger 172/Explorer 155, where parking will be available for Bath Nats members. 

Finish: 16.00.

Focus: Appreciating natural variety within and around Midford Meadow, which is owned by the Avon & Tributaries Angling Association, who are creating a wildlife refuge there. This meeting is a National Meadows Day event and will follow upon a floristic survey made by Bath Nats Biodiversity study group in the morning.

Description: The basic principle of Natural Neighbourhood Watch meetings is to identify enthusiastic local residents in different communities in and around Bath who, with the help of Bath Nats, would like to lead, organise and publicise short, easy-going walks for members of the public in their neighbourhood. The intention of the walks is to introduce other residents to the often unnoticed diversity and beauty of wildlife to be found just a short walking distance from their doorstep. They will also help to build up better knowledge and records of the diverse habitats and wildlife in and around the City.



Meet: 10.00 am, Compton Dando village centre. GR ST 647646 Landranger 172/Explorer 155. There is limited parking opposite the Compton Inn and around the telephone box in the village. Please DO NOT park in the pub car park unless you have negotiated such with the pub management!

Finish: 12.30

Length of Walk: Approx 2.5 miles

Focus: Grey Wagtail, Dipper, Kingfisher & early migrants (eg Chiffchaff, Blackcap), woodpeckers and common farmland birds including the last of the winter thrushes. Possibly early butterflies if we have sunny conditions.

Description: A leisurely walk along the banks of the River Chew towards Chewton Keynsham.

Walking conditions/suggested footwear: Generally level ground with every effort being made to avoid steep sections, although a climb to view the river from a vantage point may be required. Can be very muddy if it has been a wet Spring, so walking boots or wellies strongly recommended.

Please note: Please try to avoid any disturbance by the bridge as this represents our best chance of seeing Dipper and a quiet approach will be necessary.

Saturday, 22nd April 2017: GIGRIN FARM, RHAYADER, WALES. Coach Trip


Coach: Leaves Avon Street coach park at 08.00 and returns ca 18.00

Focus: Red kite feeding station, summer migrants: pied flycatcher, redstart

Description: This is a joint meeting with the Bath and District RSPB Members’ Group. Booking essential: payment with booking form by 25th March 2017. Booking Forms including full details can be obtained from Tom Pinckheard

Sunday 14th May 2017: DUCHY WOOD/MIDDLEWOOD, nr Newton St. Loe


Meet : 08.30 am, Village centre memorial bench. GR.ST 702649 Landranger 172/Explorer 155.

Finish: 12.00 Newton St. Loe Farm shop.

Focus: Spring birds, butterflies, & Wildflowers.

Description: A leisurely walk around the private woodland, comprising part of the Duchy Wood, called Middlewood. Here we would hope to see and hear early spring migrant songbirds like Chiff-chaff, Blackcap & Whitethroat, butterflies, such as Brimstone, Small Tortoishell & Red admiral. Spring flowers, such as Primrose, Bluebell and Ransoms should also be abundant. If time allows, we should be able to enjoy a beverage at the Newton Farm Shop.


Sunday 21st May 2017: HAM WALL RSPB RESERVE/SHAPWICK HEATH NNR, nr Glastonbury


Meet: 09.30 am Ham Wall Reserve car-park, Ashton Corner. GR ST 490395 Landranger 182/Explorer 141. Please note, that this is now a Pay & Display car-park, and charges apply for non-members of the RSPB. All day parking costs £3.00, free to Blue Badge holders.

Finish: Approx 15.30

Focus: Wetland birds & other Flora and Fauna, including Dragonflies, and Amphibians. Target species, such as Bittern, Great-White Egret, Hobby, Marsh Harrier, Warblers , possible rarities, and of course, plenty of birdsong.

Description: Easy level walking on hard surfaces and grass pathways. Suggest waterproof walking boots and clothing in case of inclement weather. Bring food & drink for the duration of the day. Toilets on site.


Wednesday 24th May 2017: FRIARY, Hinton Charterhouse, nr Bath BA2 7EU


Meet: 11.00am just within Friary, to the right of the cattle grid, where you will see a sign,’ Welcome to Park’, GR ST 788591 Landranger 172/Explorer 142. Friary is reached via a narrow steep road down through Friary woods from the A36.

Finish: 15.30

Focus: Riverside, grassland & woodland natural history and associated human history in an idyllic setting in late spring.

Description: A follow up to our late summer meeting in August 2016. Gentle exploration within and around Friary, making the most of the rich and varied plant, animal and fungi life present in its diverse habitats. Stout footwear advised. Shelter and toilet facilities are available on-site. A light luncheon will be provided at around 12.45pm. Please contact the leader in advance if you would like to partake of this, and if you are a vegetarian.

Informative website: http//www.riverhousebath.com

Saturday 3rd June 2017: NORTH WESSEX DOWNS, Wilts


Meet: 10.30am at Natural England’s Pewsey Downs NNR car-park GR. SU 116638 Landranger 173/ Explorer 157

Finish: 14.00 approx

Focus: This is one of the best places in the country to find the rare Marsh Fritillary, and, weather permitting, these could be our main target species. Expect to also find Adonis Blue, Dingy Skipper & Narrow-bordered Bee Hawk-moth. Among the birds that we could also see, would be Yellowhammer, Corn Bunting, Tree Sparrows and possible Red-Kites. Expect Brown Hares anywhere around the fields and grassland.

Description: Moderately strenuous walking of 4-5 km along the top of the Wansdyke and over the top of Knapp Hill, then back along Walkers Hill, and across the top of Alton Barnes White Horse. Walking boots are recommended, and a waterproof coat...just in case! Though very exposed, and no shelter, we will be treated to fine views if the weather is fine. The Barge Inn was closed on our last visit, so hopefully it will have re-opened, affording the chance of a pub-lunch at the end of our outing.

Sunday 11th June 2017: GB GRUFFY NATURE RESERVE & BLACKDOWN, Mendips

Leaders: ROB RANDALL AND HELENA CROUCH Meet: 11.00am at Lay-by South of Tyning’s Farm. GR ST 469564 Landranger 182/Explorer 141.

Finish: 15.00.

Focus: General interest, but especially summer flowers and butterflies.

Description: A slow exploration of the GB Gruffy nature reserve, which consists of rough, scrubby pasture on a former Lead- mine. A special plant, often associated with Lead spill, is the Spring Sandwort, which should be in flower. Weather permitting, after lunch, we shall visit Black Down, with its contrasting Moorland vegetation. Butterflies should include Skippers and possible Dark-green Fritillary. Mostly rough ground, which could be wet in places, so strong walking boots are highly recommended. Fairly flat apart from the ascent to Black Down.

Saturday 17th June 2017: BROWNSEA ISLAND, Dorset. Joint coach trip with RSPB Bath


Meet: Avon Street Car-Park 08.00am

Finish /Return: 19.00pm

Focus: Target wildlife will be wildfowl, nesting Sandwich Terns, and of course Red-Squirrels.

Description: The Island is a National Trust site, located in Poole Harbour, with dramatic views across to the Purbeck Hills. Habitats include woodland, heathland, and a lagoon, creating a unique haven for wildlife.

Booking essential: payment with booking form by 20th May 2017. Booking Forms including full details can be obtained from Tom Pinckheard

Thursday 13th July 2017: HOLLOW MARSH AND CHEWTON WOOD, nr Farrington Gurney, Somerset


Meet: 11.00am at the Farrington Gurney end of Pitway Lane. GR ST627556 Landranger 172/Explorer 142

Finish: 15.30

Focus: Meadow and woodland flora and fauna

Description: An approximately 3 mile level walk to the beautiful species-rich meadows and woodland of Hollow Marsh and Chewton Wood and back. Bring packed lunch, wear stout footwear and suitable protection from sun or rain.

Saturday 22nd July 2017: BANNERDOWN COMMON, Batheaston


Meet: 11.00am in the parking area at GR ST 794 689 on Bannerdown Road, (top of the hill).

Parking can be very limited since the common is popular with dog-walkers, so car-sharing is highly recommended. The site is not served by public transport, but a No.3 bus to Batheaston High Street leaves a 20-30 minute uphill walk along Bannerdown Road to the Common.

Finish: 13.00-14.00pm. A packed lunch can be eaten on the common after the walk, particularly now that wooden seating is provided at several points.

Focus: Butterflies, day-flying Moths, Birds, Dragonflies, Orchids, and other summer Flora & Fauna.

Description: A joint meeting with Wiltshire Butterfly Conservation. Slow & easy walking along the Butterfly transect route, which is only steep and uneven in the SW corner of the Common, traditionally called the ‘Butterfly Slope’. A short detour around this area is available if required and stout footwear is advised throughout. The slope tends to be muddy and slippery following heavy rain.

Wednesday 9th August 2017: BATHAMPTON DOWN, Bath


Meet: 10am at entrance off North Road. GR ST 763649 Landranger 172/Explorer 155. Limited parking is available on nearby roadside.

Finish: Approx 13.00

Focus: Woodland and grassland wildlife.

Description: Mostly easy walking along Skyline paths, but a short, steep climb from entrance up towards Sham Castle.

Saturday 19th August 2017: EAST WOODLANDS, Nr. Frome, Somerset


Meet: 10.00am at the church. GR ST 790441 Landranger 183/Explorer 142

Finish: Approx. 13.00pm

Focus: Late summer woodland Fungi, birds, insects and wildflowers .

Description: A mixture of woodland & conifer plantation with paths and forestry tracks . A mixture of dry woodland on Lower Greensand , and damp woods on Gault Clay. On the way will visit Roddenbury hill-fort . Two inclines with uneven ground and possible trip hazards. Mostly easy going, but may be muddy in places. Sturdy footwear advised. Distance approximately 2-3 km.

Saturday 2nd September 2017: AROUND MARSHFIELD, north of Bath

Meet: 10am in roadside lay-by off A420 to west of Marshfield village. GR ST
771737  Landranger 172/Explorer 155. Parking in the lay-by
Finish: Approx 13.00.
Focus: Resident birds and early autumnal migrants.
Description: About 3 miles of easy walking along paths and roads. Only
hazard crossing the A420.  Tea shop and two pubs in village if members
require food and drink after the walk.

Sunday 17th September 2017: DOLEBURY WARREN, nr Cheddar, Somerset


Meet: 11.00 in car park GR ST 446588 Landranger 182/Explorer 141. Take left-hand lane off the A38 past Churchill, and travel to the end

Finish: 14.00pm

Focus: The aim of the meeting will be to encounter those mysterious things like’ CHEGs’, which are specialist Fungi of poor pastures, for which the UK is globally famous! We hope to repeat ‘biodiversity quality assessments’ such as were done by Justin Smith and Alan Feest some years ago.

Description: This can be muddy in wet weather, so wellingtons or similar stout, waterproof boots could be required. We will ascend the hill along a narrow track, until we reach the top where there are magnificent views over the Bristol Channel.

Wednesday 27th September2017: GREYFIELDS WOOD & STEVENS VALE , High Littleton.


Meet: 10.30am along Greyfield Road. GR ST 641587 Landranger 172/ Explorer 142

Finish: 13.00

Focus: Fungi and other Autumn wildlife

Description: A follow-up to our very successful meeting in October 2016. A slow walk through this diverse woodland habitat, with unusual underlying geology. Some slopes and a waterfall. Stout footwear is recommended.


    Bath Natural History Society - NATS

    • Bath Natural History Society
    • Bath Natural History Society